DIGITAL SOLUTIONS ARE HERE TO STAY.
It’s not the 90s and the internet is not the new kid on the block. We’ve far progressed from the age of digital astonishment since mankind delivered GPS devices, smartphones, and digital music into our lives. Let’s face it, the question around adopting digital solutions for our business lies not in the innate fear of trying something new, but in the fear of successful implementation.
Back in 2011 at the Caribbean Digital Expo, Facebook’s Global Head of Agency Marketing – Jennifer Katula, dished out some advice to an audience of regional business owners, entrepreneurs, sales and marketing leaders. Where digital solutions were concerned, she advised, “just jump in!”
As business, sales and marketing leaders, our teams are waiting in the wings for our direction. When we let our fear dictate the pace of our progress, we’re severely hampering the success of their actions. Not only are we tossing roadblocks in our path, we’re allowing our braver competitors to forge ahead.
FIGHT FEAR WITH REASON
More often than not, our fear is driven by a series of irrational assumptions. The best way to attack the problem is to eliminate the source. Here’s where we suggest you start –
- Do research
- Trust a knowledgeable source
- Implement in small stages
- Ensure your team is sold on your decision
- Train your team
We’ve been offering digital solutions to Caribbean businesses since 2009, and our skilled and knowledgeable team of digital specialists might know a thing or two about the value of digital solutions for businesses. Here are some tips to get over the digital solutions hurdle –
- Assumption #1 – My target audiences don’t use digital, I don’t!
You are not your customer. “Unless you are the embodiment of the human condition chances are that there are strategic differences between your preferences and those of your customers.” This is where some good old research comes in. Get your sales and marketing teams to develop buyer personas that paint as accurate a picture of your various customer targets as possible. These personas would identify the platforms your customers use to engage with your brand.
Your research should also factor in trending consumer behaviour as it relates to how we consume media. Our Digital Habits and Practices study (2014/2015) reflects our local consumers’ penchant toward digital media channels.
- Assumption #2 – There’s no value to be gained from digital solutions
Here’s a quick list of the key benefits from the use of digital sales and marketing solutions for your business:
- It’s more affordable to deploy than traditional marketing and advertising solutions.
- Digital sales and marketing solutions are quicker to easier to plan and execute.
- Digital solutions allow your customers/fans to interact with and share your content.
- Digital marketing campaigns have longer shelf lives.
- Digital allows marketers to easily test the performance of their campaigns.
- Digital brand storytelling can have wider audience reach and appeal.
- Digital marketing solutions allow for greater audience segmenting and more accurate customer targeting.
- Assumption #3 – I can’t tell if my digital strategies are working.
Think about the average cost of your traditional media spend, now try to think about tracking the return on investment from this type of brand exposure. How can you tell if it’s working? What’s great about digital sales and marketing solutions is that they’re trackable and measurable. Good sales and marketing leaders set goals to help them gauge the success of their strategies. These goals are often a reflection of the wider organisational objectives. Digital allows you to measure how effective your strategies are and indicate how well you’re progressing toward your objectives. The best part about being able to measure your sales and marketing performance is the ability to address spending. If your campaign on a particular digital platform is not performing, you can easily redirect spend to a high-performing campaign on another platform.
The economic forecast for Caribbean markets is bleak. Business leaders must make smarter decisions when it comes to investing in opportunities that will impact market growth and overall business revenue.
Digital solutions for marketing and sales certainly present an opportunity for Caribbean brands to excel in these difficult economic times. As we’ve recommended, the best way forward is to secure as much information on your preferred solutions, formulate a plan, get your team on board, and just Jump In!